Pacific Discovery Gap Year Programs are epic!

Our gap year programs combine rugged journeys to some of the most spectacular places on earth, with authentic cultural immersion, language study, rewarding service-learning volunteer projects, and inspiring adventures. You’ll be secure in a supportive group environment and learn more than you ever dreamed.

These gap semesters are based on the concept of experiential education, and blend cultural immersion, personal and leadership development, volunteer and community service projects, ecotourism and sustainability focus, and transferable academic credit options.

They provide opportunities for meaningful connections with local people, pushing personal boundaries, and gaining knowledge of a country or region's history, societies and environments, facilitated by our knowledgeable Program Instructors.

If you are looking for an experience that challenges you, broadens your horizons, and merges cultural insights and environmental sensitivity with fun and adventure - come and explore with us!

Join us on a gap year program after high school or college. These educational semester programs are perfect for high school graduates, gap year students, college students, and graduates, ideally 17 -22 years.

For an incredible gap year, you can combine each gap year program with another of our exciting Fall Semester Programs exploring Central America, South America, Nepal, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific!

 

Accredited Gap Year Association Programs   Top Rated Gap Year Organization   Voted Best Gap Year Program

 

Not sure where you want to go? Our Program Quiz can help you find your perfect Program match! Or get the full Program run-down in our catalogue. This catalogue provides information about Pacific Discovery's values and program design, as well as program descriptions and testimonials!

Request Online Catalogue

 

  
Review Julia
Julia looking for rainbows in Hawaii

“My program in Hawaii was one of the most fulfilling and incredible things I have ever gotten to do. I got to meet some of the most genuine, incredible people I have ever met, discover my potential, leave my comfort zone behind, embark on some crazy adventures, experience the true simplicity of human connection, laugh until my stomach hurt, push myself in ways I never thought possible, and explore all of the incredible land that Hawaii has to offer. I am so thankful for everything I am taking away from my semester with Pacific Discovery. It was a wild and wonderful journey, and everything about it was absolutely beautiful.” Julia Brown, 2021
Hawaii Semester Program

South America Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Peru, Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands

✓ Bike and trek the Inca Jungle Trail towards the spectacular Machu Picchu
✓ Volunteer project with an indigenous community in the Andes
✓ Spanish language immersion while traveling through South America
✓ Rafting expedition on the Jatunyacu River in the Amazon Basin
✓ Help hands-on with a conservation and sustainability project in Peru
✓ Visit islands, kayak, snorkel and get up-close with local wildlife in the Galapagos Islands

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $14,955 USD
Availability Open

Nepal & India Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

From Mountains to the Sea

✓ Live like a local and experience homestays during a community volunteer project
✓ Search for rhinos, elephants, and tigers on a jeep safari in Royal Chitwan National Park
✓ Master the art of cooking with spice during Nepali and Indian cooking classes
✓ Embark on a 10-day trekking through the Himalayas to Annapurna Base Camp
✓ Care for sloth bears during a volunteer project at a rescue center in Agra
✓ Learn to use yoga, meditation, and sound vibrations as tools to relax your mind and body

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $14,995 USD
Availability Open

Polynesian Journey Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Hawaii, Fiji & New Zealand

✓ Relax your muscles in New Zealand's natural hot springs and mud pools
✓ Give a helping hand to a local Fijian community in Nasautoka Village
✓ Prepare a Hawaiian Imu feast where we take the food from ground to table
✓ Spot 40 rare species of New Zealand's native wildlife in an ecosanctuary
✓ Practice local farming techniques at a permaculture farm in Hawaii
✓ Get led by a Fijian local through cultural practices like Tapa marking and a Kava ceremony

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
16 Feb - 26 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $14,995 USD
Availability Open

New Zealand & Australia Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Adventure, Indigenous Cultures & Conservation

✓ Rewarding volunteer conservation projects in National Parks and wildlife reserves
✓ Snorkeling with turtles and tropical fish in Byron Bay
✓ Epic West Coast road trip with stops at impressive blow holes and Franz Josef glacier
✓ Attending a Maori indigenous cultural performance and traditional hangi feast
✓ Learning to ride waves during a 4-day surf camp in Australia's East Coast
✓ A stay at Pacific Discovery's very own environmental center in the Marlborough Sounds

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
9 Feb - 19 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $16,495 USD
Availability Open

Australia & Bali Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Island Hopping, Surfing & Conservation

✓ Rewarding conservation and wildlife volunteer project in National Parks
✓ Yoga and meditation retreat in Bali’s tropical Ubud
✓ Island hopping and snorkeling in the spectacular Whitsunday Islands
✓ Experience life and work with animals on an outback station
✓ 4WD-safari along beaches and freshwater lakes on Fraser Island
✓ Get involved in marine conservation in the world-famous Great Barrier Reef

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
16 Feb - 26 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $15,495 USD
Availability Open

Southeast Asia Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia

✓ Care for elephants during a volunteer project at an elephant sanctuary
✓ Explore the superb temples of Angkor Wat
✓ Find inner peace during a Buddhist meditation retreat led by Thai monks
✓ Trekking through Northern Laos with visits to ethnic minority villages
✓ Explore the best islands and beaches in southern Thailand
✓ Work with an NGO that helps to break the cycle of poverty for at-risk girls in Thailand

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
9 Feb - 19 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $14,495 USD
Availability Open

Central America Gap Semester | 10 Weeks

Mexico, Belize, Guatemala & Costa Rica

✓ Experience homestays with Guatemalan families and live like a local for a week
✓ Care for sloths and monkeys at an animal rescue center
✓ Learn to scuba dive and explore the underwater world in Cozumel
✓ Get interactive Spanish lessons to give you a more connected experience
✓ Witness volcanoes glowing in the dark from your tent on overnight hikes
✓ Help out on coffee plantations and learn how to cultivate coffee

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $14,955 USD
Availability Open

Rewilding Residential Gap Semester in New Zealand | 10 Weeks

Homesteading & Wilderness Conservation

✓ Help in environmental projects at the forefront of New Zealand conservation efforts
✓ Detox from society and spend lots of time in nature
✓ Learn to scuba dive, sail, forage, harvest, cook, and create together
✓ Learn land management principles & homesteading skills toward a sustainable future
✓ Receive a Natural Resource Management Internship Certificate (40 hours)
✓ Explore New Zealand's unique natural landscapes and indigenous Maori culture on three epic overland journeys

Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 7 Sep - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $14,495 USD
Availability Open

Hawaii Gap Semester | 9 Weeks

Conservation, Surfing & Cultural Immersion

✓ Get hands-on in marine conservation and restoration of local ecosystems
✓ Snorkel with majestic manta rays in the reefs of Kona
✓ Practice your surfing skills with the help of a local legend
✓ Get outdoors and learn about sustainable farming techniques on a permaculture farm
✓ Hike through Volcanoes National Park and watch the lava glow from a crater
✓ Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by learning about the heritage, history and language

Spring Dates 9 Feb - 9 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 14 Sep - 12 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $15,495 USD
Availability Open

Hawaii Mini Semester | 6 Weeks

Surfing, Agriculture & Sustainable Living

✓ Get outdoors and learn about sustainable farming techniques on a permaculture farm
✓ Prepare a local Imu feast where we take the food from ground to table
✓ Practice yoga and meditation in Hilo
✓ Surf Lessons based in Kona, the sunny district on Hawai’i Island
✓ Get hands-on in marine conservation and restoration of local ecosystems
✓ Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by learning about the heritage, history and importance of canoes

Spring Dates 2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 5 Oct - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $10,875 USD
Availability Open

Australia Mini Semester | 6 Weeks

Marine Conservation & Ocean Adventures

✓ Get hands-on in marine conservation at the world-famous Great Barrier Reef
✓ Learn to ride waves during a multi-day surf camp on Australia's East Coast
✓ Jump aboard a Mari Nawi (Big Canoe) and learn about the Aboriginal culture
✓ Snorkel with turtles and tropical fish in Byron Bay and Moreton Island
✓ Give a helping hand to a turtle rescue center that provides care for injured turtles
✓ Support the beach cleanup initiatives of local volunteer groups

Spring Dates 2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 5 Oct - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $10,875 USD
Availability Open

Thailand Mini Semester | 6 Weeks

Thai Culture, Jungle Trekking & Elephant Volunteering

✓ Scuba diving course in the the clear waters of Southern Thailand
✓ Rewarding volunteer project working with elephants at an elephant sanctuary
✓ Try your hand at Muay Thai (or Thai boxing), the country’s national sport
✓ Hike and tube in the amazing jungle, rivers and lakes of Khao Sok National Park
✓ Find inner peace during a yoga and Buddhist meditation retreat
✓ Learn hands-on about conservation and sustainability at a wildlife reserve

Spring Dates 2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 5 Oct - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $9,975 USD
Availability Open

Costa Rica Mini Semester | 6 Weeks

Homestays, Spanish & Animal Volunteering

✓ Rewarding conservation volunteer project working with an animal rescue center
✓ Spot dolphins on a 3-day kayaking adventure through rainforest-covered hills
✓ Interactive Spanish lessons to give you a more connected experience
✓ Give a local school a helping hand during a community volunteer project in Tinamu
✓ Surf on the pristine beaches of the Pacific coast with professional guides
✓ Live under same roof as a local family for a week to truly immerse yourself in the culture

Spring Dates 2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 5 Oct - 15 Nov, 2023

Program Tuition $9,975 USD
Availability Open